Are you tired of the same old push-up routine? Ready to take your calisthenics game to the next level? Look no further than the deficit handstand push-up, the exercise that combines strength, balance, and a little bit of insanity.
Deficit handstand push-ups, also known as elevated or freestanding handstand push-ups, are a challenging and effective way to work your shoulders, triceps, and core. By increasing the distance between your hands and the ground, you add an extra level of difficulty that will test your upper body strength and balance like never before.
In this article, we’ll break down everything you need to know to master the deficit handstand push-up. From getting started to troubleshooting common issues, we’ll provide you with the tips and tricks you need to succeed. But fair warning, this exercise is not for the faint of heart. So, if you’re ready to take the leap (or rather, the handstand), let’s get started!
Getting started with deficting handstand push ups
Before diving into the deficit handstand push-up, make sure you properly warm up your body. This helps to prevent injury and increases blood flow to your muscles, preparing them for the work ahead. Try performing some basic calisthenics exercises like jumping jacks or arm circles.
Choosing the Right Deficit
The right deficit will depend on your current fitness level. If you’re new to the exercise, start with a small deficit of about 1 to 2 inches. As you get more comfortable and build up strength, you can increase the deficit gradually. Just remember that with each increase in height, the exercise becomes more difficult, so choose a deficit that is challenging, but still manageable.
To set up correctly for the deficit handstand push-up, begin by placing your hands shoulder-width apart on the ground, fingers facing forward. Walk your feet towards your hands until your hips are above your shoulders. You should be in a “downward dog” position, with your head facing the ground.
Next, kick up into a handstand against the wall. Once you have found your balance, lift your head slightly, keeping your eyes focused on the ground between your hands. This will help you to maintain balance and engage your core.
When you’re ready to begin the exercise, slowly lower your head towards the ground, keeping your elbows close to your body. Once you reach the bottom, push back up through your arms to return to the starting position. Congratulations, you’ve completed one repetition of the deficit handstand push-up!
Performing the deficit handstand push ups
The deficit handstand push-up is a complex exercise, but by breaking down the movement step by step, you can make it more manageable. To perform the exercise:
- Kick up into a handstand against the wall with your head facing the ground and your hips above your shoulders.
- Slowly lower your head towards the ground, keeping your elbows close to your body.
- Once you reach the bottom, push back up through your arms to return to the starting position.
Engaging the Right Muscles
To perform the exercise with proper form and get the most out of it, it’s important to engage the right muscles. Make sure to keep your core tight and engaged throughout the movement. Your shoulders and triceps will be doing most of the work, so focus on contracting those muscles as you push up.
Avoiding Common Mistakes
As with any exercise, it’s important to avoid common mistakes that can lead to injury or prevent you from getting the most out of the movement. Some common mistakes to watch out for include:
- Arching your back: Keep your core tight to prevent your back from arching, which can cause strain and prevent you from fully engaging the right muscles.
- Letting your head drop: Keep your eyes focused on the ground between your hands to maintain balance and engage your core.
- Flaring your elbows: Keep your elbows close to your body to target your triceps and prevent strain on your shoulders.
By avoiding these mistakes and focusing on proper form and muscle engagement, you can perform the deficit handstand push-up safely and effectively.
Progressions and Variations
As you get stronger and more comfortable with the deficit handstand push-up, you can gradually increase the difficulty to keep challenging yourself. Some ways to progress the exercise include:
- Increasing the height of the deficit: Gradually increase the height of the deficit to challenge your shoulders and triceps even more.
- Adding weight: Once you can perform multiple reps with good form, you can add weight using a weight vest or backpack.
- Doing it freestanding: Once you’re confident in your handstand, you can try performing the deficit handstand push-up without the support of the wall.
Variations for Different Levels
There are several variations of the deficit handstand push-up that you can try, depending on your level of strength and skill. Some variations include:
- Pike push-ups: Similar to the deficit handstand push-up, but performed with your feet on the ground and your hips in a piked position.
- Wall-assisted handstand push-ups: Instead of a deficit, perform handstand push-ups with your feet against the wall.
- Frog stand push-ups: A beginner-friendly version of the handstand push-up that involves holding a frog stand position and pushing up through your arms.
Incorporating the Exercise into Your Routine
To incorporate the deficit handstand push-up into your routine, try adding it to your upper body workout or as part of a full-body circuit. Start with a small deficit and gradually increase the height as you get stronger. Remember to warm up properly and focus on proper form and muscle engagement to get the most out of the exercise.
By progressively challenging yourself and trying different variations, you can continue to improve your strength, balance, and overall fitness with the deficit handstand push-up.
Solutions to Common Issues
Even with proper form and gradual progression, you may still run into some common issues when performing the deficit handstand push-up. Here are some solutions to help you troubleshoot these issues:
- Wrist pain: If you experience wrist pain, try using wrist wraps or altering the position of your hands. You can try shifting your weight slightly forward onto your fingers or turning your hands outwards slightly to relieve some pressure on your wrists.
- Losing balance: Losing balance is a common issue when first starting with the deficit handstand push-up. Try to keep your core tight and focus on engaging the right muscles to maintain control. You can also practice against a wall or use a spotter to help you maintain balance as you get more comfortable with the movement.
- Plateauing in progress: If you feel like you’ve hit a plateau in your progress, try changing up your routine by adding in different variations or focusing on other areas of your body for a while. You can also try adding more volume or weight to your sets to continue challenging yourself.
Importance of Proper Form
As with any exercise, proper form is crucial to prevent injury and get the most out of the movement. It’s important to maintain good posture throughout the exercise, keeping your core tight and your shoulders and elbows stable. Avoid letting your head drop or arching your back, as this can cause strain and lead to injury.
If you experience pain or discomfort while performing the deficit handstand push-up, stop immediately and seek advice from a medical professional. Remember to start with a small deficit and gradually increase the height, focusing on proper form and muscle engagement to get the most out of this challenging and rewarding exercise.
The deficit handstand push up is a challenging and rewarding exercise that can help improve your upper body strength, balance, and overall fitness. With proper warm-up, technique, and gradual progression, anyone can work towards mastering this impressive feat of strength.
Starting with a small deficit and gradually increasing the height is a great way to build strength and confidence in the movement. By engaging the right muscles and focusing on proper form, you can minimize the risk of injury and maximize the benefits of the exercise.
Don’t be discouraged if you encounter some challenges along the way – troubleshooting common issues and experimenting with different progressions and variations can help you continue to improve and progress in your fitness journey.
Incorporating the deficit handstand push-up into your routine can be a fun and challenging way to switch up your workout and challenge yourself. With dedication and perseverance, you can master this impressive exercise and achieve new levels of strength and fitness.